This was a program I was really excited about. I know I get stuck in a rut and keep reading the same books. It takes some real pushing for me to get out of that circle. I decided to try and expose the kids to different type books. I brought in about 20 books. Half were fiction and many different genres (historical fiction, science fiction, mystery, action, etc). The other half were a mix of non-fiction books (biography, poetry, animals, craft book, history, etc). I shuffled the books and the kids got about 5 minutes to look over each book.
I made a little chart for them to fill out while looking at each book: What’s the title?, What type of book is it?, Does the cover look interesting?, Read a few pages. Does the book interest you?, Will you come back to the book later?.
My program ended up being a hot mess. It was during the holiday time so not many people showed up. It was fine because the program would work no matter how many people showed up. Unfortunately the “wrong” kids showed up. One kid was forced to come by mom so he ignored everything I said and complained the program was stupid. The other two kids read at a younger reading level than what I had planned for. (Once they told me that, I ran out and picked some lower reading level books and things went much smother).
Verdict: I still think the basics of the program are a good idea. Maybe this would work out better if you used this in a classroom setting or in an established book club? Maybe this would work out with an older age group? It would also be a great display for any age group. You could fill it with a mix of different and interesting books for the age group and then tell participants to grab a few books that they wouldn’t normally check out.